Hello F22 crew!
I LOVE ‘What I learned in XXXX amount of months/years’ blog posts. Being able to recognize your own growth and change is great. We should all take the time to reflect on how far we’ve come, even if it’s only been a few weeks. The problem is, most of these blog posts are about blogging, or being a mom, and I’m neither! I’m not a stand-alone blogger. Meaning that I’m first and foremost- a freelancer. Most of my money comes from convincing other people to let me do services for them in the digital marketing, or online world. Check out my June 2019 income report here.
And being a freelancer can be lonely (we’ll touch on that more later). So lonely in fact, that I only know one of two other freelancers or self-employed people. Which is why I turned to blogging in general. Yes, a lot of highly successful bloggers are technically freelancers/self-employed, but a lot of aspects are not the same. So take this all with a grain of salt! These are my top 6 realizations after 6 months of being a freelancer (and blogger!)
If Advice Doesn’t Feel Right, it Probably Isn’t Meant for You
People pass out advice more than those sample people at Costco. (It actually pays pretty well if you’re interested!) And 90% of the time their advice is useful in some way or form, but that leaves 10% that just isn’t. Yes, a lot of newbie freelancers get defiant and walk around with that I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING THANK YOU air, but that doesn’t last long. (Mine lasted all of two weeks before I hastily started Googling things.) If someone is giving your advice that goes against your values, genre of work, or moral standings….just say thank you and move on. Unless they are the same type of freelancer you are, and doing BETTER than you, there’s no reason to invest yourself into something. *key word is BETTER folks!
If They Don’t Respond, Don’t Chase Them (okay maybe once)
I have a client that reaches out to set up a meeting, and then doesn’t respond to me. Worse is the one meeting we did have resulted in me listening to his rags to riches stories, dating life, and getting absolutely no work done. Not to mention somehow I got my name smeared in an industry I don’t even work in? The point is, he has reached out multiple times and never followed through with it. So I reached out again ONCE, and then wrote him off. Your time is valuable, and that also means the time it takes you to reply to someone, or just the time you take thinking about them. So if they aren’t willing to respect you, and take time on you, then ‘fire’ them and move on! (Feel free to take that lesson and use it in your personal life as well!)
Get Out of Your House
I’m a homebody, and pinnacle introvert. Even if your like me and hold long, drawn out conversations with your cat-you need to get out of your house each day. Go get a drink from Circle-K, go see your mom, coordinate a meetup of your boss ass bitch female friends and laugh at the absurdities of the day! Point is, you need this time outside (even if it’s solo?) to feel refreshed enough to give your hustle 100%. And yeah, sometimes it feels like MORE work than your real work. But it’s kind of like taking medicine, do the thing and feel better or your feel worse in the long run. I promise you when you see your loved ones you’ll remember how much you miss each other!
Network Events are Your Friend
I recently attended my first networking/hiring event and it was AWESOME! I got a call back within 24 hours for copywriting work. If you’re an introvert (see above point) I recommend a ‘speed networking event’. It’s essentially speed dating but with business cards. I love it because you only have to (and only get to!) talk for 1-5 minutes per person. This means less small talk, more straight to the point business talk. Some meetings will even set up the contact afterwards for you, so less pitching! I loved my first event so much I signed up for two more this month. I hope to go to at least one a month moving forward. Get me out of the house, make business connects, and occasional free food? Hell Yeah.
Procrastination Will Make You No Money-just do the thing
I pride myself on being self-motivated. My minor claim to fame is that going into my third year of college/university, I decided I wanted to graduate early. This meant I took 30 credits each semester and worked full time. (For reference a ‘full course load’ is usually between 12-20 credits). How did I do it? Well like I said, crying, but mostly I decide I was going to do it and was not going to back down. Working remotely 80% of my adult life has drawn on this life skill a lot, and now freelancing even more. Getting up, and just doing the damn thing is the only way you’ll get paid. Sure you could do it tomorrow, but that means you’ll get paid a day later. PLUS you never know what will happen tomorrow. You could end up with a stress-inducing bigger work load, or get into a car accident and not be able to meet a deadline.
Do the damn thing. Eat the frog. Use whatever cliche you need but just get it done.
I hate this one. The thought of starting every conversation off about how I’m a freelancer and need work makes me want to puke. BUT puking I must because word of mouth, or word of keyboard is the main way freelancers get gigs. Let it monopolize your social media, post when you have a special, and remind people about what you do. Check your ego-people will not just randomly think about you when they need baby pictures because you mentioned it ONCE-You’re not that damn memorable. So remind them, and everyone else, often.